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The evolving world of power Opportunities and challenges


Improving the efficiency of this energy chain remains the most cost-effective way of lowering consumption and emissions.000 terawatt hours a year. 1 International Energy Agency. by 2030. There is mounting evidence that the rise in global temperatures. to end-use in our homes. World Energy Outlook. Meeting this kind of demand would mean building a one gigawatt power plant and its associated grid infrastructure every week for the next 20 years. To achieve this goal. which began during the industrial revolution. a combination of energy efficiency measures and renewable power generation could deliver 75 percent of the required emissions reduction over the next two decades. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA). greenhouse gas emissions must be dramatically reduced. and demand for electricity is rising even faster. While increasing demand for power is a reality. Approximately 80 percent of energy is lost in the chain from primary harvesting of resources such as oil and gas. Unless changes are made. climate change is also a serious cause for concern. 2009. It is now widely accepted that global temperatures must be limited to a maximum of 2°C above preindustrial levels if the effects of climate change are to be held to an acceptable economic.Balancing the need for power with minimum environmental impact Global demand for energy is rising fast. is due in significant part to man’s activities. The evolving world of power 3 . offices and factories. global electricity consumption will be close to 30. Concern for the environment is now high on the global agenda and governments around the world are mobilizing resources to fight climate change.1 That’s more than twice the amount used in 2000. social and environmental cost.

4 28. based on existing technologies.8 34. substation efficiency Improved productivity Building management Home automation 20-30% improvement Process control Marine Power plant automation Grid systems. The same benefits can come from reducing transmission losses. we can reduce environmental impact and costs. the power sector could play a major role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating improvements in energy efficiency and integrating renewables. World Energy Outlook 2009. Industry consumes over 40 percent of the world’s electricity. Major reductions in carbon emissions can come from the development of renewable energy sources such as hydro. Clearly. based on existing technologies.2 +40% ABB solutions.9 +76% Energy-related CO 2 emissions 45 Gigatons (Gt) 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2007 2015 2030 28. substations Process control Energy management Smart buildings Energy savings are available across all of ABB’s market segments 4 The evolving world of power . Energy losses can be reduced by 20-30% using ABB solutions Primary energy Transport Generation T&D Industry Commercial Residential Standard losses Reduced losses Available energy Improved well efficiency Efficient vessels More efficient fuel combustion Low line losses. wind and solar. lowering global emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.5 40. Source: International Energy Agency. and make better use of renewable energy sources. If we can generate power more efficiently. can reduce losses at each step in the energy value chain by 20-30 percent.World electricity demand Terrawatt hours (TWh) 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2007 2015 2030 16.4 20. and more than 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions are produced by fossil-fueled power generation. managing distribution networks more intelligently and using electricity more productively. can reduce losses at each step in the energy value chain by 20-30 percent. These sources will reduce our long-term dependence on fossil fuels. ABB solutions.

The power sector will play a major role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by integrating renewables Opportunities and challenges 5 .

economies of scale and advances in technology are bringing prices down and making the environmental benefits ever more attractive.000 4.000 8.While the cost of renewable energy is generally higher than that of conventional alternatives. which are close to centers of demand. which are often located far from centers of demand and may be subject to the vagaries of the weather. But renewable power sources. Since electricity networks have evolved over the decades to transport electricity from predictable and controllable generation sources. The grids must be able to manage their unpredictable and intermittent nature.000 Nuclear 14. electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.000 12.000 6. Renewable energy sources are expected to make a major contribution Global electricity production (TWh/y) 20. Source: International Energy Agency. and accommodate an increasing share of small-scale and distributed generation sources at the same time. though not insurmountable challenges and the grid will need to evolve. biofuels. will need to feed into electricity grids.000 2.000 16.000 Oil 0 Tidal Geothermal Biomass. Waste Solar CSP Solar PV Renewables (IEA Blue Map Scenario)1 Other Wind Hydro 1990 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 1 Blue Map Scenario is a combination of high efficiency.000 Hydro 18. the increase of renewables will bring a set of new.000 Gas Coal 10. the result is that CO2 emissions in 2050 are contained at half the level of 2005. 6 The evolving world of power .

At ABB. through increased automation and greater deployment of energy efficiency technologies to ensure we make the best possible use of our infrastructure and our resources. the utility management and control systems of the past were inherently difficult to compromise and a “security by obscurity” approach prevailed. The power system of the future will be more flexible and interconnected. to address the challenges and opportunities of balancing our growing need for power with environmental concerns. By their nature. which strengthens the link between software systems used to control the network and the physical infrastructure of the grid. This convergence will deliver the sophisticated automation systems needed to support the many growing complexities. power systems need to become more effective and efficient. The power system of the future will be more flexible and interconnected. while lowering environmental impact. There will also be more focus on ensuring power quality and reliability to avoid power fluctuations and failures. additional control systems are required to ensure that the grid’s systems will function correctly. Source: International Energy Agency. which include faster fault detection and resolution. consumption will also need to be controlled.Annual emission of CO2 in gigatonnes In many regions. In the past. leading to the evolution of a stronger and smarter grid. while maintaining the required levels of grid reliability in the coming decades. Energy and renewables could deliver bulk of CO2 savings 45 40 57% 35 30 25 20 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 20% 10% 10% Energy efficiency Renewables Biofuels (3%) Nuclear CCS* *carbon capture and storage Reference scenario 450 policy scenario1 1 Energy-related CO2 emissions reduced by 50%. World Energy Outlook 2009. but in the future. without interruption by external influences. efficiency and security of electricity supplies. and billing systems. electricity supplies simply followed demand patterns. more automated and intelligent. Another key development in the management of the evolving power network is the convergence of information (IT) and operational (OT) technologies. helping to meet shortfalls in neighboring systems. But the introduction of information and communications technologies to our grids has increased the need for cyber security. which will accommodate remote renewables and facilitate efficient energy trading. utilities and consumers. whole new systems will be needed to serve consumers as living standards rise. enhancing capacity and improving reliability. 2050 compared to 2007. as more renewable power is incorporated into the system. The evolving power system will have more long-distance transmission links and more grid interconnections. balancing our growing need for power with environmental concerns. Across the world. Stability will be enhanced by enabling generators to share power during periods of low demand. grid expansion and renovation will be required to ensure the reliability. we remain committed to the development and deployment of technologies to help our customers to be more competitive by increasing efficiency. demand management will require the active involvement of power generators. To ensure a balance between supply and demand. Alongside the benefits these technologies bring. The advent of electric vehicles will also have an impact on the development of the future grid – key aspects that need to be addressed are the charging and energy storage infrastructure. and elsewhere. Opportunities and challenges 7 .

Our ultrahigh and high-voltage solutions up to 1000 kV. HVDC Light. regardless of the energy source. efficient. help transport power and connect transmission grids over land. Specialist automation systems protect and optimize the flow of power within a substation. With more than 125 years of experience and a vast installed base. and transformers. intelligent Energizing and controlling power plants Power plant operators aim to run their installations at the highest possible level of efficiency.ABB techologies enable the flow and control be more flexible. ABB offers technologies for complete electrical and automation solutions as well as controls and instrumentation products for power generation plants of all kinds. circuit breakers. These include surge arrestors. Power transmission ABB is a pioneer and market leader in technologies for efficient and reliable transmission of power over long distances with minimal losses. switchgear. FACTS and cable systems.and medium-voltage products that ensure reliability and efficiency in the power system. Substations Transmission and distribution substations use a range of high. underground and even underwater. protection equipment. including technologies like HVDC. reliable. 8 The evolving world of power .

improving energy efficiency and lowering environmental impact. Systems like network solutions. ABB’s global installed base coupled with its vast portfolio facilitates life cycle support across the power value chain.of electricity for power networks to and environmentally friendly Managing the network Network management software products and systems collect. power. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and utility communications enable real-time monitoring and control of power generation. Services With unparalleled domain expertise. instrument transformers. switchgear. distribution and traction transformers as well as a complete range of medium voltage products . from consulting. ABB’s offering encompasses the entire range of services. store and analyze data from thousands of points in a network. transmission and distribution systems. as well as industry and rail networks. Products ABB’s product offering across voltage levels includes circuit breakers. capacitors. repair and refurbishment to complete maintenance and asset management solutions.enhancing reliability. Opportunities and challenges 9 title 9 ABB Group profile | chapter .

improve reliability. which help customers to reduce transmission losses. and is able to stabilize intermittent power supplies that might otherwise disrupt the grid. automation. especially in the emerging economies. ABB is a leading provider of integrated power and automation solutions for all types of power generation plants. It has lower losses and a smaller footprint than traditional high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission systems. HVDC technology is designed for high-efficiency power transmission via overhead transmission lines and underground or submarine cables. ABB pioneered HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology more than 50 years ago and has supplied more than half of the world’s installed HVDC capacity. 10 The evolving world of power . systems and service solutions that help optimize performance. instrumentation and control systems we offer products.ABB’s offering across the power value chain Energizing and controlling power plants More than 50 percent of the total investment in power infrastructure goes to the generation sector as we continue to add capacity. For these reasons. maximize efficiency and improve grid reliability. With an extensive offering portfolio that includes electrical balance of plant. Power transmission ABB has a comprehensive offering of alternating and direct current transmission systems. Although power generation around the world will continue to depend heavily on coal and other fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. which can deliver electricity from remote generation sources to consumption centers. enhance efficiency and minimize environmental impact through the entire lifecycle of the plant. it is the technology of choice for longdistance transmission projects. HVDC is also widely used for grid interconnections. the renewables sector is growing and will play an important role in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

cost and environmental impact associated with the construction of new generating facilities and transmission lines. By improving efficiency. accessories and services for a range of applications from medium. ABB is a global leader in FACTS technologies and has more than 700 installations in operation or under construction around the as much as 50 percent . relieve bottlenecks and can be used for the safe integration of unpredictable power sources such as wind and solar into the grid. oil-free cables and compact converter stations. It is used to overcome limitations of distance and grid incompatibility. ABB has delivered more than 7. ABB Group profile | chapter title 11 Opportunities and challenges . FACTS (flexible alternating current systems) technologies improve power quality and can significantly increase the capacity of alternating current transmission lines . The environmental benefits of HVDC Light ®. cables and complete converter stations. improving services and revenues. ABB has a unique in-house manufacturing capability that includes semiconductors. When it comes to transmission grid solutions. reducing waste. FACTS technologies help to deliver more power to consumers. include neutral electromagnetic fields. reducing the time. FACTS solutions can alleviate the need for capital investment. is ideal for linking offshore installations.000 km of XLPE cables for voltages in excess of 100 kV for projects around the world. a system based on ABB’s classic HVDC technology. The portfolio includes high-performance XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulated cables for high efficiency transmission systems at voltages up to 500 kV. By enhancing the capacity of existing transmission infrastructure.while maintaining or improving the system’s reliability. ABB also offers a comprehensive range of land and submarine cables. while ensuring robust performance and minimal electrical losses. such as wind farms or oil and gas high-voltage AC and DC systems. FACTS technologies also boost transmission efficiency.HVDC Light®. to mainland grids.

Network management systems are a key smart-grid component enabling highly automated power systems to incorporate and manage centralized and distributed power generation. ABB’s substation offering covers a range of voltage levels. ABB has successfully delivered projects in all kinds of environments. They perform the vital function of monitoring and controlling power flows. transmission grids. and energy trading markets. ABB products. ABB’s offering includes control and protection systems for power generation. as well as software solutions for central electricity markets and mixed utilities (electricity. operate and protect power systems. ABB’s offering is compliant with IEC 61850. They ensure the reliability of electricity supplies and enable real-time management of power plants.Substations Substations are key installations in the power grid that facilitate the efficient transmission and distribution of electricity. up to 1. as well as enterprisewide data integration for efficient power system management. transmission. With the recent addition of Ventyx. gas. feeding power from generating stations into the grid and providing the link between transmission and distribution networks as well as end consumers. As the world’s leading supplier of air-. efficiency. intermittent sources of renewable energy. gas and water).a valuable combination for the development of smart grids. realtime pricing and load-management data. transmission and distribution. 12 The evolving world of power . district heating.and hybrid insulated substations. The standard also facilitates multivendor integration and substation extensions. reliability and safety of ABB’s substations. from deserts and mountains to offshore rigs and crowded city centers. which provides a common framework for substation automation and facilitates interoperability across devices and systems. This provides real-time control and monitoring functions and helps to maximize the availability.100 kV. distribution and utilization of electricity – enabling efficiency. Managing the network ABB’s network management and utility communications solutions monitor. ABB has a unique portfolio comprising an end-to-end software offering in addition to a comprehensive range of operational technologies . systems and service solutions facilitate the generation. reliability and power quality. control. distribution networks. the open communication standard.

100 kV. modular systems and equipment for distribution automation. all supported by a global service network.Products ABB offers a spectrum of high-voltage products at ratings up to 1. ABB’s medium-voltage technologies play an important role in maintaining stability.and dead-tank circuit breakers. Products are also available for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to incorporate into their own installations. power quality and efficiency in the distribution network. The products are built to withstand the rigors of the most demanding environments. from offshore and industrial facilities to urban and rural locations. These products enhance the reliability. ABB’s medium voltage portfolio includes switchgear. live. Opportunities and challenges 13 . gas. power capacitors and surge arresters.and hybrid-insulated switchgear solutions. to extend the life of existing equipment and improve performance. efficiency and quality of power supplies with minimum environmental impact and enable the safe transmission of power at high voltage levels. The products serve new project installations and retrofit or upgrades. instrument transformers. This includes air-. ABB high-voltage products are supported with a full-range service portfolio.

000 distribution transformers every year. installation and commissioning. ABB’s transformer technology achievements include the world’s first 800 kV DC bushings.000 power transformers and 500. from power plants. It addition to setting new records in terms of power ratings. Services ABB’s service portfolio includes design and consulting. With 30 service centers. reliability and durability. ABB has also developed high-efficiency distribution transformers that can reduce energy losses up to 70 percent. ABB produces over 2. performance optimization and routine maintenance. to end-user applications. 14 The evolving world of power . as well as refurbishments and upgrades. and a range of environmentally friendly products including high-efficiency amorphous core transformers and transformers using biodegradable vegetable oil. ABB is also the world’s leading transformer service provider. through transmission and distribution systems and substations. As the world’s leading manufacturer of transformers.000 meters). and ultra low-sound transformers for noise-sensitive environments.Transformers are an integral component of the power value chain. ABB pioneered the development of commercial transformers in the late 19th century and has continuously improved its transformer technology in terms of efficiency. the world’s most efficient subsea transformer (which can operate at depths of up to 3.

With a 125 year heritage of technology and innovation and a presence in over 100 countries. mainly carbon-based and controllable power generation to more distributed. through sustainable business practices and environmentally sensitive products. ABB continues to shape the grid of the future. We are moving from a centralized. reliable and smarter grids. ABB technologies are addressing the challenge of balancing rising demand for power with increasing concern for the environment. From harnessing and integrating renewables. reliability. The power sector is currently witnessing the most significant changes in recent history. delivering power more efficiently and with lower environmental impact. This evolution will bring flexibility. planning and enabling demand management to preparing the grid for electric vehicles. With a 125 year heritage of technology and innovation and a presence in over 100 countries. In order to maintain our industry-focused expertise and understanding of customer needs. The use of information technology to improve the intelligence of power systems is increasing.The evolving world of power Delivering power and productivity for a better world ABB constantly strives to enhance efficiency by optimizing power generation and providing reliable power transmission and distribution. This transition brings challenges in terms of renewable integration. the ability to manage demand patterns and balance supply with demand is improving as the power system adapts to a multi-directional energy and communication flow. Conversely. to software solutions for energy forecasting. Our engineers and developers are working to maintain a constant flow of ideas and improvements that will enable us to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. reliability. delivering power and productivity for a better world. delivering power and productivity for a better world. systems and service solutions cover the entire value chain from generation. ABB products. transmission and distribution through to end use. efficiency. India and China. in Europe. ABB technologies are playing a central role in the optimization of electricity generation and the evolution of more flexible. the United States. less predictable and less controllable elements that include a larger portion of low-carbon energy sources. we have corporate research centers in different parts of the world. ABB continues to shape the grid of the future. Opportunities and challenges 15 . and power quality. more intelligence and the ability to manage power networks effectively. ABB offers a vast portfolio of power and automation technologies and remains committed to helping customers to do more with less. Monitoring systems are becoming more sophisticated and able to handle complex functions.

Approximately 50 percent of the wood used comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).Contact us ABB Ltd Power Products and Power Systems Box 8131 CH-8050 Zurich Switzerland Tel: +41 (0)43 317 71 11 Fax: +41 (0)43 317 79 58 www.O. Document ID © Copyright 2010 ABB. All rights This report is printed on paper made from elementary chlorine-free (ECF) pulp in mills which are certified to ISO 14001. .